Teachers are to have lessons in marketing, publicity and the art of creating a good website to make sure their schools remain popular with parents.
A review by South Gloucestershire Council has found that more could be done to persuade parents to "choose local". Officials ordered the study because of concerns about unfilled places, "negative perceptions" of some schools, road congestion, obesity, and the loss of the relationship between school and community.
They examined primaries in Yate and Chipping Sodbury that had surplus places and found evidence of pupil movement to rural areas. Headteachers reported that parents were choosing schools on the basis of Ofsted reports and exam results, but not at all by "value added" results.
Also important were quality of buildings, local newspaper coverage, location, out-of-hours services and atmosphere. KM.